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Fishermen are angry and give up on the policy of discharging treated wastewater into the ocean

January 14, 2023
On January 13, people involved in the fishing industry in Fukushima Prefecture and the surrounding area voiced their anger and resignation over the government’s plan to begin discharging treated water from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean “around this spring or summer.

In the afternoon of the same day, the fishing port of Kakedo (Namie-cho, Fukushima Prefecture), located about 6 km north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, was deserted after the landing had already finished, but several fishermen were working on their fishing nets and boats.
 A young fisherman who had started fishing for baby sardines looked resigned: “The government will force me to release the treated water even if I scream,” he said. But I am still afraid of the reputational damage it will cause.
 In Fukushima Prefecture, a test fishery that has been in operation since the nuclear accident ended in March 2021. The catch is about one-fifth of what it was before the accident, but it is gradually recovering. The owner of a fresh fish store in Minamisoma City, which mainly handles fish from the Hiketo fishing port, said angrily, “The fishing season is finally picking up, but if the fish are affected by the release, it will be the end of the season.

The government and TEPCO “have done nothing but lie…keep your promises.
 The fishermen’s wish is to continue the fishing industry. Satoshi Nozaki, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Federation, has appealed to the government and TEPCO, saying, “We want to continue fishing in Fukushima so that we can hand on to our successors” and “We cannot consent to the discharge into the ocean. The prefectural fisheries federation said it has not been contacted by the government and cannot make any formal comment, but a representative stressed, “We will remain resolutely opposed to this.
 We want them to stop discharging into the ocean. I am just disappointed,” said Tsuneko Nemoto, 66, who runs a trawl fishing business based in the Nakaminato fishing port in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture. She is mindful of the government’s and TEPCO’s promise not to discharge the waste into the ocean without the understanding of those involved. “I don’t trust them because they have lied to us so many times, but they must keep their promise,” she said.
 A representative of the Miyagi Prefectural Fisheries Federation also stated clearly that they were opposed to ocean discharge. He also said that he doubted whether the government’s dissemination of information about the treated water was reassuring to consumers. (Takeshi Yamakawa, Natsuko Katayama, Nozomi Masui, Nagasaki University of Technology)

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January 20, 2023 - Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , ,

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